I had a home buyer Tweet me and ask if I had any words of wisdom to pass along. The funny thing is that I love giving advice, but 140 characters weren’t going to cut it because what I do really can’t be distilled down to a sound bite. It also raised an issue that many
socialists folks have written dissertations on… the desire for a silver bullet or quick fix.
A picture and a paragraph won’t be enough
Buying real estate in Northern Virginia is going to be a complicated task that will require some planning and very hard work:
- You need to figure out how to pay for your home (and adjust if necessary)
- You need to figure out the best location (and adjust if necessary)
- You need to figure out what style of home you want (and adjust if necessary)
- You need to figure out a reasonable sales price (and adjust if necessary)
- You need to do some comparison shopping (and adjust if necessary)
Plus there really are distinct differences between living in Arlington, McLean, Vienna or Oakton, Virginia.
and now for Doug’s words of home buyer wisdom…
Right now, today, I can share some wisdom that is worth passing down and it will require you to do some serious soul searching. Did you ever read “What Color is My Parachute” when you were searching for a job or life purpose? In that book the author has his readers do some serious thinking to help them discover their individual strengths, and then organize and understand the importance of capitalizing on those strengths.
Where do you see yourself in five or ten years? Today you have opportunities to buy into a neighborhood for the long term, rather than starting with a first-timer home and then moving in five years to your “family” home. Today’s long-term mortgage interest rates are low and should be low for a while, and home prices have been knocked down too. I won’t bother you with equations, but as rates go up then your buying power goes down.
Right now, in Fairfax County, Virginia, I am not seeing builders building any detached homes under $1,000,000. Understanding the basics of supply vs. demand proves that the supply of detached homes under $650,000 will remain unchanged (actually decrease) over the next ten years. And the population forecast is on the upswing too.
So, my buyer’s agent advice or words of a wisdom… this is the time to buy a home with the long-term in mind.
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